TBI Invisible Heroes Of Everyday: The Jugaad Mechanic

Though we give our fancy cars to service stations for repairing and servicing these days, but it is our very own “Jugaad” mechanic who comes to our rescue when we need it the most. He is much more than someone who repairs your machine. You can always count on him for a quick fix. The affordable charges, easy access and reliability is something that makes us still count on this guy.

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Do you remember where your dad got his Maruti 800 or where your grandfather got his old “Amby” repaired? There weren’t many company service centres back then. It was a time when the good old mechanic at the end of the street serviced everything from imported Toyotas to the local Fiats.

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He was the most sought after engineer in town. But even today, there are a lot of these local jugaad mechanics. People who will help you out when there’s a sudden breakdown and the fancy ‘road assist toll free’ of your car company doesn’t get through.

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Appalraju is one such mechanic who has his little garage near my house. He’s been there for decades. We have graduated from rusty Fiats to Marutis and now Chevy, yet he’s been the same. His garage looks, feels and still smells the same. Even his smile remains the same, as he says he takes pride in the fact that though customers he’s known for generations don’t bring cars for regular service to his shed now, they call him for sure if there’s a sudden break down. He says he’s the “SOS man” in times of real need and that the service centres of big dealers are just for regular service.

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Surprisingly, his business has increased over the years. Enough to build a house of his own and send his children to college. Though times have changed, in times of distress we’ll still go to the uneducated yet fairly knowledgeable jugaad mechanic down the street. It’s his affable nature, reasonable charges and quick fixes that make him work, I feel.

Click here to see other Invisible Heroes of Everyday.

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About the author and photographer: Tejaswi Bhagavatula is a Hyderabad-based writer, poet, painter, biker, photographer, corporate profile-writer, on-the-way-CA, part-time tax consultant – all to fund his passion for travelling! He wishes to work for change through bringing out stories and his dream is to ride to Ladakh on his dear old Bullet, while learning and writing about people he meets all along the way and someday, maybe make it a storybook.

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